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Forever Honeymooning - Even With a Dog in Tow!

Every once and awhile we get some slack about being the “Traveling Newlyweds” when we’ve been married for over four years. “You’re not newlyweds!”, they say — and to that we reply, “It’s a mentality, not a time frame!”

And that’s become our motto. We believe that no matter how long you’ve been married, you can forever cling to that “newlywed mentality”. Traveling is bonding - and why not spread out the fun with more than one honeymoon?! Keep the party going!!

We’re seeing more and more actual newlyweds do this too. Sometimes it’s hard to take off work for an extended period of time, so they take multiple weekend trips instead of a traditional honeymoon. You don’t have to use up all of your vacation time, and you’re able to explore more than one destination. It’s genius! 

It’s time for y'all to enjoy “MANYMOONS”.

One of our favorite hotel brands, Kimpton, just launched a Manymoon” campaign targeting these kinds of travelers. Millennial couples (like us!) that are more interested in the long weekend trips to hip, urban cities. Several of their properties in Portland, Austin, Pittsburgh, and Nashville have what’s called a “Manymoons Rising” offer, where couples get hooked up with all of the honeymoon perks and a free night stay at their fourth stop! And let’s be real, who wouldn't want to honeymoon in all four of those cities?!

We recently stayed at a couple of the Kimpton properties, the Hotel Monaco Portland (included in the Manymoon campaign), and the Palladian in Seattle. We absolutely loved both properties - they’re stylish, conveniently located in their respective cities, and instantly became our home-away-from-home. We’ve said it before, and this trip solidified it - Kimpton absolutely has the best customer service. Their attentiveness and attention to detail makes you feel not only like a valued guest, but like an A list celebrity! (Which is exactly how you want to feel when you’re honeymooning!!)

DON’T FORGET THE PUP!

Having a hard time leaving your “fur baby” behind on your Manymoon adventure? Don’t!

All Kimpton properties are extremely dog friendly, and the pups get the same royal service we do (if not more)! From dog-friendly wine hour, to treats and toys in the room, to the fact that there is no additional pet fee (let that one sink in), it’s a win/win for dogs and owners alike. Our pup Sally lived like a queen during her stay at both Kimpton hotels, and we joke that it’s spoiled her for life!

Whether you’re actual Newlyweds, or just taking on that “newlywed mentality” like us, we highly suggest that you consider a Manymoon weekend adventure with Kimpton. You’ll have the time of your life, you won’t miss too much work (if you make it a true “Weekender”), and you don’t need to find a pet sitter!

Let us know when you plan your weekend getaways… we’ll come meet you in Nashville. ;)

5000 Miles, Podcasts, and a Heated Steering Wheel :: Driving Through the US & Canada in our Acura MDX

Over 5,000 miles of driving. 

One whole month on the road. 

Just the two of us. Oh, and our 60 pound dog. 

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Are we crazy? Probably… but these past four weeks have been some of the craziest/best/most rewarding times of our lives. When we started planning our journey, we knew we needed to do this whole thing right. After all, that’s a lot of time just the two (err.. three!) of us, and that’s a heck of a lot of time in a car. We both have smaller, older cars that are great for getting from A to Z, but when it comes to driving cross country, we weren’t sure they would make it. Thankfully, our friends at Acura let us try out a brand new, bright red, 2018 Acura MDX… what we affectionately titled “Red Rover”.

With Red Rover, it was love at first sight. From the shiny, sleek exterior to the spacious, luxe interior, the Acura MDX is the perfect mix of sporty yet efficient. When you’re driving the MDX you feel more like you’re gliding, and every feature (and there are so many features!) is perfectly placed on the dashboard. The seats - oh, the seats. They’re like butter. Not like sticky and gooey butter, but like soft, comfy, airy butter. Too much? Regardless, we were instantly obsessed - suddenly somehow the idea of driving 5,000 miles cross country didn’t sound too bad!

It didn’t take us long to realize that once you have an MDX, you’re a part of the “club”. We’d pass other Acura MDX’s on our journey, and they’d all smile and wave at us - like we were already friends! One campground we went to, the cabin next to us had an MDX as well. We spent a solid thirty minutes talking to them about road tripping through the US, and how they wouldn’t do it in anything but their MDX. We whole-heartedly agreed!

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We found ourselves driving through all sorts of terrain with Red Rover - through windy, cliff-lined roads along the California Coast, to chasing waterfalls along bumpy dirt roads in Alberta, Canada, she handled it like a CHAMP. We felt safe in our Acura MDX, it’s sturdy, reliable, and even though it’s big, it’s incredibly easy to maneuver. In the entire month we were gone, we never had a single problem (except Bobby might have gotten pulled over once)!

Fast-forward to the end of our trip, and even our Bernedoodle Sally was obsessed with Red Rover. Using a set from Kurgo (highly recommend!) we transformed the whole middle row (there’s three rows - we’re telling you, it’s huge!) to accommodate our 60-pound fur ball. We weren’t sure how Sally was going to handle such long days on the road, but she LOVED it. (These pictures are proof.) There were plenty of air vents to keep her cool, and the row was big enough for her to stretch out, lay down, go from one window to the next, and even rest her head on our shoulders. (Our personal favorite.)

Looking back, we remarked how amazing it was that we never once got homesick. Not once! We 100% attribute that to the fact that Red Rover really became our home! Even though we stopped at over twenty cities along the way, we always had a “home base” in our Acura MDX. We’d have our little “things” placed right where we’d need them - both pairs of sunglasses had their home, our mints were in a hidden compartment in between the seats, the XM radio was programmed to our favorite stations, and our seat heaters (and coolers!) were set to just the right temperature. It may sound silly, but these little routines gave us a sense of normalcy throughout our trip that really made a big difference. Not to mention our luggage fit perfectly in the back - and we had a LOT of luggage!

There’s a lot we already miss about life on the road - the constant adventure, the random stops places we’d find ourselves in, the friends we’d make… but we especially miss Red Rover. Yep, even after 5,000 miles in the Acura MDX, we’re still every bit as obsessed as we were on day one. Maybe even more so. It was the PERFECT adventure car. And would be the perfect family car one day… maybe in the not-so-distant future. :)

If this sounds like too much driving for your liking, maybe we can propose a helpful alternative? One way to cut hotel costs (and add to the adventure!) is by renting an RV with RVshare. They're the largest, safest and most trusted RV rental marketplace with wide ranging inventory from affordable pop-ups to luxury motorcoaches. Whether it's just you and your significant other out on the open road, or you're planning a trip with your family - they have something for everyone! They even have pet friendly RV rentals too! RVshare also has 24/7 emergency roadside assistance on every booking, making it a very safe and trustworthy travel option. Head to RVshare.com to learn more!

Paradise Exists: And it's at the Andaz Maui

Our bucket list is long - really long. It grows daily, actually. Our wanderlust spirits crave new experiences, new cultures, new adventures. We’re not the types to go to the same place over and over again, there’s just too much on this earth we’ve yet to explore!

That being said, we have a small handful of spots that we would gladly return to. Places that we love, places that we crave, places that we start to miss the second that we leave… and Maui is one of them. There’s something about the people, the weather, the food, the wildlife. There’s just something so incredibly special about this little Hawaiian island. If you’ve been, you know. If you haven’t, keep reading. 

We hit a point every year where we begin to have Maui withdrawals. It doesn’t take long before we have our flights, room, and rental car booked (If our budget allows for it). This year, we decided to head to a part of the island that we’d never been before : Wailea, and to a hotel that has been on our bucket list for years: the Andaz Maui.

Ever since we stayed at the Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica, we’ve been hooked on this brand. Their attention to detail, the cool, modern style of the properties, the friendly and attentive staff, the food, the drinks, even the rainfall showers in the room. It’s all done SO well. One look at the Maui property online and it was love at first sight. 

It’s even better in person! If you are planning a trip to Maui (and you should), we strongly believe this is the best hotel on the island. Yep, we said it. And we stand by it. Here’s why:

 

LOCATION

You simply can’t beat the location of the property. It’s right on what we consider not only the prettiest beach in Wailea, but the best one for snorkeling. Seriously, the coral reefs there made Alli cry. Highlight of the trip. The Andaz Maui is also walking distance to restaurants, hotels, Lapperts Ice Cream (very important), shops, and more. If you don't feel like walking, no problem! The Andaz has private cars that will take you wherever you want to go (within a two mile radius). 

 

THE POOLS

Photos can't quite portray how breathtakingly beautiful their infinity pools are. At first glance it almost doesn’t look real! We spent the majority of our time pool-hopping around the different infinity pools, and it was glorious. There’s plenty of lounge chairs, complimentary Sun Bum sunscreen, books for guests to enjoy, cold water, Mai Tai’s, and ahi poke when you get hungry. One afternoon the Andaz staff handed out free mochi ice cream for guests to enjoy poolside. Heaven? Basically.

 

THE SERVICE

We’re big on guest experience. Nothing makes us happier than good customer service. If you want our loyalty, treat us well! At the Andaz Maui, guests are treated like royalty. From the smiling faces of the bellmen to the pool attendants, to the talented mixologists, everyone is eager to serve. The second you arrive at the pool they’re making sure your chair is set with towels, your umbrella is where you want it, and your every need is met. It’s absolutely spoiling in every way.

 

THE AMENITIES

Here’s the deal. The Andaz Maui isn’t cheap. You can google hotels in the area and probably find a handful of options that are significantly cheaper. But chances are you’ll make up that difference in all of the extra things you end up needing to buy/rent. Here’s just a few of the things that your resort fee covers at The Andaz Maui:

  • Fitness classes: bootcamps, yoga, 
  • Outrigger canoe excursions
  • Snorkel gear
  • Stand up paddle board classes
  • Mixology classes
  • Ukelele classes
  • Lei making classes
  • Boogie boards

And so much more! There are SO many extra perks to staying at the Andaz. And if you’ve been following us for awhile, you know we LOVE good perks. Like we said, you’re paying a premium to stay in the best location on Maui, have everything you need at your beck and call, and have unlimited activities to keep the whole family entertained. When you’re in the mood to relax, nothing is better than a one-stop shop, and the Andaz Maui is exactly that.

 

Have we sold you yet? We could go on and on about how epic our room was, how insane their breakfast buffet is, how amazing the live nightly music was… But we’ll let the photos do the talking. Stay at the Andaz Maui. And take us with you. Please.

Bend Lived Up to the Hype

Bend is one of those cities that our friends RAVE about.

The river, the hiking, the friendly locals, the epic breweries, the food trucks… We’d heard it all. When we set our minds on doing a road trip, it was one of the first cities we decided on. It was about time we saw what all the Bend hype was about… and wow, our friends were right.

Out of all of the places we’ve visited on our roadtrip, Bend is one of the few spots we actually said, “We could live here”. It really has it all. Beautiful weather, incredible scenery, awesome locals (for real - Bend attracts cool people), and some of the best food we’ve had on our trip! Because there was so much to see and do, our stay in Bend was one big dreamy whirlwind, but we’ll do our best to share what stood out!

 

WHERE WE STAYED

Tetherow is a resort in Bend that borders the forest, has an 18-hole golf course, has a pool, three restaurants, and is minutes from downtown. Oh - and they’re dog friendly!! It’s incredible.

Some of our highlights were sitting on our porch watching golfers tee off, or watching the sunset behind the mountains. Tetherow felt like our own little oasis.. It was peaceful, cozy, and had all the luxuries of a 5-star resort. Their beds are SO plush and comfy, even Sally couldn’t resist them!

We could’ve easily spent our whole time there! But like we said, there was too much to see, do, and eat in Bend, so we tried to pull ourselves away from the amazing Tetherow Resort at least once or twice a day! ;)

 

WHERE WE ATE (AND DRANK)

Oh man, the food options in Bend are limitless!! We did the best we could for only being there for 3 days, but there are soooo many other places we have yet to discover. For now, here’s what we tried (and loved):

  • The Sparrow Bakery: Delicious coffee, mouth-watering pastries (try their famous Ocean Roll!), and breakfast sandwiches we’ll be craving for months.. This place is a must.

  • Backporch Coffee Roasters: Solid coffee, chill vibes. You can’t go wrong.

  • McKay’s Cottage: If you love a good hearty breakfast, you’ll die and go to heaven at McKay’s. It took us a solid 20 minutes to decide on what we were going to order, everything sounded amazing… And it is. (Don’t leave without a chocolate chip cookie!)

  • Fix and Repeat: The cutest little juicebar (that even has smoothies for dogs)! Order a toast or two while you’re there because why not? It’s healthy! (And SO GOOD)

  • Crux Fermentation Project: Probably our favorite brewery in Bend (that we’ve been to so far, at least.) Crux has awesome drafts in a really fun, chill, and dog-friendly environment. Bring a deck of cards and chill on their lawn for a few hours, just like the locals do!

  • Spoken moto: What do motorcycles, good coffee, craft beer, live music, and food trucks have in common? Not much - but you can find them all at Spoken Moto! It’s laid-back atmosphere is perfect for a Saturday afternoon, or pretty much any day really!

  • Spork: Global cuisine that is crave-worthy. This place is popular (be prepared to stand in line for 30+ minutes), but it’s worth the wait. Order the Lomo Saltado and the Spicy Fried Chicken and mmm.. You’ll thank us later!

  • Thailandia Food Truck: Best pad thai we’ve ever had. Fresh, healthy, and full of flaver. Oh, and it’s from a food truck. That’s Bend for ya!

WHAT WE DID

To be honest, we mostly ate our way around Bend.

We did walk a lot, and enjoyed meandering our way along the Deschutes! We also went to the Oregon High Desert Classics, which is a free horse show in Bend. Dogs are allowed, so we had a blast introducing Sally to some horses… she wasn’t as entertained as we were!

These are some awesome trails that we heard about from some friends, and definitely some fun spots to float along the river, but we just didn’t have enough time. We have to save some things for our next trip, right?

Not only does Bend have it all, it still has the small-town charm that makes it relatable. We quickly learned our way around town, and numerous times we’d recognize people or run into someone we’d already met! We left feeling like honorary Bend locals. (Even though there is still SO much we have yet to discover.)

 

Winter road trip to Bend, anyone?

Sidenote - for those of you that love road tripping in an RV, Bend is the PERFECT destination. One way to cut hotel costs (and add to the adventure!) is by renting an RV with RVshare. They're the largest, safest and most trusted RV rental marketplace with wide ranging inventory from affordable pop-ups to luxury motorcoaches. Whether it's just you and your significant other out on the open road, or you're planning a trip with your family - they have something for everyone! They even have pet friendly RV rentals too! RVshare also has 24/7 emergency roadside assistance on every booking, making it a very safe and trustworthy travel option. Head to RVshare.com to learn more!

Olympia, Washington - So Much More Than Just A Capital City

One of the things we love about road trips is that it forces us to explore new cities. 

Driving from state to state, it’s inevitable that you’ll stumble upon towns and regions you never knew existed. Some spots we simply HAVE to stop and walk around, others we drive right through, and every once in a while we find one that’s really a fun surprise. Olympia surprised us in the best way possible… and while we’ve grown up learning about our state capitals, we’ve never known very much about Olympia (besides maybe the fact that it’s in Washington)! 

When the opportunity presented itself to stay a couple days in Washington’s capital city, we both got really excited. Experiencing unfamiliar cities is our jam - especially when we have no idea what to expect. And here’s the deal, Olympia is cool. It’s up-and-coming, it’s quaint, it’s loaded with amazing restaurants and bars, and it boasts some epic scenery! Yes to ALL the above!!!

Here are some of the highlights from our time in Olympia (most of which are dog friendly, too)!

 

BREAKFAST

  • Lacey Forza: (Dog-friendly patio) Quick, efficient, and totally delicious. Lacey Forza is the perfect place to stop when you’re on the go. But whatever you do, make sure you have enough time to stop and enjoy the bacon cinnamon roll. You’re welcome in advance.

  • Our Table: This cozy, retro diner serves up some of the best breakfasts in town - at affordable prices too! From the Micheal Jackson beats to the perfect breakfast potatoes and bacon that may have made Bobby’s whole trip - it’s definitely a must-do!! (But leave your pup at home, there’s no outdoor seating.)

LUNCH

  • Well80: (Dog-friendly patio) Delicious beer and an extensive menu featuring pizzas, burgers, brussels sprouts, and more… Are we in heaven? Well80 is a modern, spacious, and energetic restaurant that quickly became one of our favorite Olympia institutions. We loved the outdoor patio, and the servers are all really friendly. We can’t wait to be back!

  • Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar: (located in 222 Market, has a dog-friendly patio) Serving up so much more than just oysters, Chelsea Farms is another favorite of ours for lunch! They have great salads, fresh fish, and delicious wines. Sally loved sitting outside and playing with other dogs that were there - win/win for everyone!

DINNER

  • Three Magnets Brewing: (Dog-friendly patio) Our favorite kind of a place. Great drinks, awesome happy hour, delicious “comfort food” that’s prepared with love, and has a healthy twist. Alli had the veggie burger of her dreams, and we split avocado fries that were TDF (To Die For) - definitely recommend!

  • Ricardo’s Kitchen and Bar: (Dog-friendly patio) Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, looking for a fun date night spot, or simply craving a steak, Ricardo’s is your ticket! It’s one of the best steakhouses in Olympia, and for good reason. Everything we had was flavorful, perfectly prepared, and beautifully presented. If the weather is good, sit outside!

COFFEE

  • Batdorf and Bronson: Have you ever been to a coffee shop where you’ve instantly felt at home? The baristas quickly become your BFF’s, the atmosphere is peaceful and inviting, and the coffee is what we like to call, “The Real Deal”? Batdorf and Bronson is just that. We were lucky enough to sit in on an employee “Coffee Cupping” (They do ones every Wednesday (?) that are open to the public!), and getting a behind-the-scenes look at their passion and excitement for coffee was thrilling for us. We love nothing more than getting a front-row look at talented people doing what they love… and the people at Batdorf and Bronson are the real deal. Go. Drink their coffee. Go to a coffee cupping class. And bring some bags home for all of your friends.

  • Olympia Coffee Roasting Company: Another great local coffee shop! There are multiple locations in town, with our favorite being the one on 4th Avenue (you can do Coffee Cupping there too!). OCR has yummy coffee and is a perfect spot to open up your laptop and work for a few hours. And they have epic branding! We'll definitely be back!

ACTIVITIES

  • Kayaking Long Lake with Northwest Paddle Surfers: Long Lake is STUNNING, and a perfect place to explore by Kayak… and you know what else? You can bring your dog aboard!!! While we’ve taken kayaks out numerous times together, this was our first time ever taking Sally - and it was an adventure we’ll never forget!! The team at Northwest Paddle Surfers are incredibly friendly and helpful, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

  • Tolmie State Park: You could easily spend all day in Tolmie. It has beautiful hikes, beaches, picnic spots, and is brimming with wildlife. We took Sally for a walk along the beach (dogs are allowed if they’re on leash) and the surroundings were breathtaking.

  • Explore Tumwater Falls Park: Waterfalls in the middle of the city?! What?? It’s true - we couldn’t believe it either! We loved walking around this quaint little park, and watching Sally’s reaction to a waterfall was priceless!

We could go on and on with more recommendations for Olympia - but then this blogpost would take days to read! So, we’ll leave it at that. Any favorite spots that we’ve missed? Leave a comment and let us know! We’ll definitely be back. ;)

Planning a road trip of your own? One way to cut hotel costs (and add to the adventure!) is by renting an RV with RVshare. They're the largest, safest and most trusted RV rental marketplace with wide ranging inventory from affordable pop-ups to luxury motorcoaches. Whether it's just you and your significant other out on the open road, or you're planning a trip with your family - they have something for everyone! They even have pet friendly RV rentals too! RVshare also has 24/7 emergency roadside assistance on every booking, making it a very safe and trustworthy travel option. Head to RVshare.com to learn more!